Skip to Content

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots

These Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots are crisp and crunchy, vinegary with a hint of sweet, and garlicky with a mildly spicy kick. They’re so delicious and perfect for snacking!

If you’ve got some extra carrots from your garden, the farmers’ market, or the grocery store and are looking for something new to do with them, make some carrot refrigerator pickles. It’s so easy (there’s no canning involved), and wow, are they packed with flavor!

Our summer garden is in full swing! There’s nothing better than eating fresh vegetables that you grew yourself right from seeds. They taste like they’re supposed to, you save money, and you can freeze some to enjoy during the winter months.

Thank goodness David has a green thumb. Me? Not so much. He grows it. I pick it and cook it. It works out great!

We’ve already enjoyed lots of radishes, peas, green beans, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and broccoli. The cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes are well on their way. And for the past week or so, I’ve been harvesting lots of these beautiful half-sized carrots.

a bunch of freshly picked carrots

We’ve mostly enjoyed munching on them fresh, which is my favorite way to eat carrots. We also cooked them up as a side dish for dinner, and I froze a lot of them to use later.

But we still have lots more left, and I decided to make some of these super simple carrot pickles for a different way to enjoy them. They last in the refrigerator for up to a month – and they stay crunchy – although we always eat ours much faster than that!

Now for the “hard” part: although these carrots are super quick and easy to put together, you must wait at least 5 days before you eat them.

Sure, technically, you could eat them after 24 hours, but I think you would be a little disappointed. The flavors will not have had enough time to develop and meld together. Trust me, the longer they sit, the better they get.

It’s hard to wait, but it’s totally worth it!

two jars of pickled carrots on a white cloth napkin

Ingredients you need:

  • Fresh carrots
  • Garlic (whole cloves)
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Mustard seeds
  • Peppercorns
  • Celery seeds
  • Crushed red pepper flakes

Here’s a look at how to make Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots:

two images, one of peeled and cut carrots on a cutting board with a knife with text that says peel the carrots and cut into sticks, the other of the carrot sticks and garlic cloves in 2 mason jars with text that says place the carrots in jars along with garlic
two images, one of a pot filled with pickling brine and spices with text that says bring vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices to a boil in a pot, the other of the pickling brine being poured into the mason jars filled with carrots with text that says pour into the jars with the carrots, fill to cover the carrots
two images, one of the two mason jars filled with carrots and brine with text that says let cool to room temperature, the other of the two mason jars of carrots with lids on them with text that says put the lids on the jars
two images, one of a refrigerator with text that says refrigerate, wait at least 5 days before serving, the other of a carrot stick being pulled out of a jar with text that says enjoy

Tips & Tidbits:

  • I use and recommend wide-mouth mason jars. It’s easier to pack the carrots into the jars, and (more importantly!) it’s easier to pick them out of the jar when you want to eat them.
  • Make sure your jars are not cold (if needed, you can warm them up by running them under warm water). If they are cold, the sudden temperature change when you pour in the boiling-hot brine could cause the jars to crack (I learned this the hard way a long time ago).
  • With this recipe, I always have enough brine (in fact, I usually end up with a little extra). If you ever happen to come up a little short, just add more vinegar or water to top off the jars.
  • When pouring the brine into the jars, don’t forget to make sure you distribute the spices evenly between the jars so both get all that flavor.
  • The garlic flavor will intensify over time. You can remove the garlic cloves at any point if it is getting too strong.
  • The red pepper flakes add just a little bit of spicy heat that I love. Feel free to add more, less, or none at all.
  • Just remember, since we are not canning, these pickled carrots are not shelf-stable and must be kept refrigerated. They will last up to 1 month. I always put the date I made them somewhere on the jar or lid.
top-down view of two jars of pickled carrots

Pickled carrots can be put in salads, wraps, on a veggie tray, served as a side dish alongside a burger or sandwich, or just eaten straight out of the jar as a super yummy – and somewhat addicting – snack!

I hope you try this Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots recipe and love it as much as I do. Thanks for visiting today!

michelle signature
image with text that says more recipes you might like
image that states follow now cook this on pinterest for more simple and delicious recipes, click here
image that states if you make this recipe, please leave a star rating and comment below, thanks
2 jars of easy refrigerator pickled carrots

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots

These Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots are crisp and crunchy, vinegary with a hint of sweet, and garlicky with a mildly spicy kick. They're so delicious and perfect for snacking!
Print Pin Save Rate & Comment
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Cooling and Chilling Time: 5 days 1 hour
Total Time: 5 days 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 8 (about ½ cup each)
Estimated Calories: 45

Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • ¼ teaspoon celery seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional, add more or less to taste

Special Equipment

  • 2 pint-sized mason jars with lids (wide-mouth recommended)

Instructions

  • Trim the root ends and tops from the carrots; discard. Peel the carrots and cut them into sticks that are approximately ½" wide by 4" long.
  • Divide the carrot sticks (and any extra pieces you have left) between 2 pint-sized wide-mouth mason jars (you might have to pack them in a bit). Put one garlic clove in each jar, tucking it down in amongst the carrots.
    Note: Make sure your jars are not cold. If they are cold, the sudden temperature change when you pour in the boiling-hot brine could cause the jars to crack. If needed, warm them up by running under very warm water.
  • Place the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, peppercorns, celery seeds, and crushed red pepper flakes in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Pour the brine into the jars, completely covering the carrots and filling them almost to the top (also make sure that the spices are evenly distributed between the jars).
    Note: You should have just enough brine to fill the jars (and maybe a little extra left over). If there's not enough, just top them off with more vinegar or water.
  • Allow to cool to room temperature with no lids (this should take about an hour).
  • Put the lids on the jars and place them in the refrigerator. Chill for at least 5 days before serving. They get better the longer they sit!

Notes

  • Since we are not canning, these pickled carrots are not shelf-stable and must be kept refrigerated. They will last up to 1 month.
  • Estimated calories were calculated based on the full amount of all of the ingredients in the recipe, including the brine; since the majority of the brine will not be consumed, actual calories may be less. 
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to see it!Share it on Instagram, tag @nowcookthis and use the hashtag #nowcookthisrecipes. Thanks!

Recipe Rating




Belinda Bailey

Friday 28th of July 2023

I am trying this recipe for the first time. Why do you wait an hour before placing the kids on the jars?

Michelle

Friday 28th of July 2023

Hi, Belinda! I wait until the jars come to room temperature before putting the lids on jars (about an hour, but it could be less). I leave the lids off because I feel it helps them cool down quicker than if the lids were on. You can put the lids on sooner if you'd like. Thanks for your question and hope you enjoy them!

Kristyn

Friday 6th of August 2021

These look amazing! I have a ton of carrots in my fridge I need to get rid of and this is the perfect way. I can't wait to try this recipe!

Sarah

Tuesday 16th of August 2022

Thanks for this recipe! I realized a few hours before leaving on a 2-week vacation that I hadn't eaten the large bunch of carrots I'd bought at a farmers market that weekend. I didn't have time to do proper canning, but my slightly modified brine (I used ground pepper and celery seed since I didn't have whole) was quick to make and pour over the raw carrots. And it made such a nice snack when we got home!

Michelle

Friday 6th of August 2021

Thank you! I hope you enjoy them!